Yesterday I met with a long-term client and friend at my local Starbucks.
It’s located at the edge of a shopping center in the neighborhood known as City Heights here in San Diego. I’d walked to the coffee shop after finishing my volunteer stint at the library.
We were sitting outside because it was a lovely, warm afternoon. We were discussing the content for his new website.
I was facing roughly north and I glanced up, probably drawn by the sound of a siren, to see a San Diego City Police Car stopped with all lights flashing and at least three San Diego City Policemen with drawn pistols pointing at the red sedan stopped immediately in front of them.
Out of the front and back passenger windows, which were partially opened, were two sets of hands awkwardly waving trying to show, I assume, they were unarmed and not going to provoke the police. From the concentration of the cops I gathered the same thing was going on on the other side of the car.
The incident gradually wound down; no one was shot. My client and I walked to the nearby bank and he withdrew some money to pay me for work I’d already done.
As best as I can recall my thoughts went something like this:
- My God, they’ve got guns pointing at those guys.
- The cops are white and it looks like everyone in the stopped car is black.
- If they start shooting and those guys scatter we could be shot.
- What’s going on or what was going on that needed this kind of fire power ready to do untold damage to both suspects and the many others in the parking lot around the shopping center.
- Yes, the cops are all male and they are all white and the hands waving out of the window look male and black to me.
- If they start shooting even going inside may not help.
- If this goes bad we could be shot. I don’t want to be shot!
And so it went, my fear running high as was my curiosity and horror at the whole scene. I came home rattled and almost immediately had a phone appointment.
This morning I called and apparently the car the police stopped was a stolen car – that’s all the officer would tell me, other than to explain the fact that it was a stolen car was why the officers had drawn their weapons. That doesn’t quite go together for me.
The takeaways? There’s a bunch for me this morning and will probably be more to come.
- I’m terribly grateful.
- We truly never know what will happen moment to moment.
- My writing business continued making its demands in spite of what had happened – and I went with it.
- Writing from life experiences is part of what I and most writers do.
I’m not even sure this post belongs here on a site about freelance writing, and yet, writing is my business. I was conducting business when this happened, so where else?
Thanks for being there, truly.